A U.S. judge in Wyoming has blocked new rules that tighten controls over fracking on federal lands, granting a measure of relief to producers who would have faced higher costs at a time when profits already are strangled by low crude prices.
The order by U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl puts a temporary hold on the most closely-watched effort by the Obama administration to ensure that hydraulic fracturing doesn’t contaminate water supplies. While the rules apply only to federal lands, they are designed to spur states to follow suit, magnifying the impact and potentially slowing development of oil and natural gas resources.
Skavdahl said the government’s Bureau of Land Management lacks the authority to control fracking.Continue reading by clicking here.
Republican Rob Bishop, chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources, approved of the ruling as “the right decision because it stops the Obama Administration from shoving this harmful policy down the states’ throats,” in a statement issued by his office. Bishop said the federal rule would cause “major harm” to the industry and to states if implemented.
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